- Google Earth
name = Google Earth
caption = Screenshot of Google Earth in
released = mid 2006
latest_release_version = 4.3.7284.3916
latest_release_date = release date and age|2008|7|13
programming language =
size = 25 MB
operating system = Windows 2000, XP & Vista,
Mac OS X, Linux
language = English, Turkish, Swahili, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Traditional Chinese
website = http://earth.google.com/
Google Earth is a
virtual globeprogram that was originally called Earth Viewer, and was created by Keyhole, Inc, a company acquired by superimpositionof images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photographyand GIS 3D globe. It is available under three different licenses: Google Earth, a free version with limited functionality; Google Earth Plus ($20 per year), which includes additional features; and Google Earth Pro ($400 per year), which is intended for commercial use.cite web |url=http://earth.google.com/products.html| title= Google Earth Product Family| accessdate = 2007-08-05]
The product, renamed Google Earth in 2006, is currently available for use on
personal computers running Microsoft Windows2000, XP, or Vista, Mac OS X10.3.9 and above, Linux(released on June 12, 2006), and FreeBSD. Google Earth is also available as a browser plugin (released on June 2, 2008) for Firefox, IE6, or IE7. In addition to releasing an updated Keyhole based client, Google also added the imagery from the Earth database to their web based mapping software. The release of Google Earth in mid 2006 to the public caused a more than tenfold increase in media coverage on virtual globesbetween 2006 and 2007,cite web |url=http://www.geospatialweb.com/figure-4| title=Media Coverage of Geospatial Platforms| accessdate = 2007-08-05] driving public interest in geospatialtechnologies and applications.
Google Earth displays satellite images of varying resolution of the Earth's surface, allowing users to visually see things like houses and cars from a
bird's eye view. The degree of resolution available is based somewhat on the points of interest, but most land (except for some islands) is covered in at least 15 meters of resolution. [ [http://earth.google.com/data.html Google Earth Coverage] : Maps showing a visual representation of Google Earth coverage] Melbourne, Australia, Las Vegas, Nevadaand Cambridge, Massachusettsinclude examples of the highest resolution, at 15 cm (6 inches). Google Earth allows users to search for addresses for some countries, enter coordinates, or simply use the mouse to browse to a location.
Google Earth also uses
digital elevation model(DEM) data collected by NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission(SRTM). This means one can view the Grand Canyonor Mount Everestin three dimensions, instead of 2D like other map programs/sites. Since November 2006, the 3D views of many mountains, including Mount Everest, have been improved by the use of supplementary DEM data to fill the gaps in SRTM coverage. [cite web|url=http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/showthreaded.php/Cat/0/Number/695033/an/latest/page/0#695033|title=Google Earth Community: Nov. 23rd - Thanksgiving Day imagery update]
Many people using the applications are adding their own data and making them available through various sources, such as the BBS or blogs mentioned in the link section below. Google Earth is able to show all kinds of images overlaid on the surface of the earth and is also a
Web Map Serviceclient. Google Earth supports managing three-dimensional Geospatialdata through Keyhole Markup Language(KML).
Google Earth has the capability to show 3D buildings and structures (such as bridges), which consist of users' submissions using
SketchUp, a 3D modelingprogram. In prior versions of Google Earth (before Version 4), 3D buildings were limited to a few cities, and had poorer rendering with no textures. Many buildings and structures from around the world now have detailed 3D structures; including (but not limited to) those in the United States, Canada, Ireland, India, Japan, United Kingdom, [ [http://www.skyscrapernews.com/googleearth.php Skyscraper News Google Earth ] ] Germany, Pakistanand the cities, Amsterdamand Alexandria. [ [http://www.infopot.tk/ infopot.tk ] ] In August 2007, Hamburgbecame the first city entirely shown in 3D, including textures such as façades. The Irish town of Westport was added to Google Earth in 3D on January 16, 2008. The 'Westport3D' model was created by 3D imaging firm AM3TD using long-distance laser scanning technology and digital photography and is the first such model of an Irish town to be created. As it was developed initially to aid Local Government in carrying out their town planningfunctions it includes the highest resolution photo-realistic textures to be found anywhere in Google Earth. Three-dimensional renderings are available for certain buildings and structures around the world via Google's 3D Warehouse [ [http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/ 3D Warehouse ] ] and other websites.
Recently, Google added a feature that allow users to monitor traffic speeds at loops located every 200 yards in real-time. In version 4.3 released on April 15, 2008,
Google Street Viewwas fully integrated into the program allowing the program to provide an on the street level view in many locations. Google Earth is now also available in 23 languages: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish.
In version 4.2, released August 22, 2007, Google Earth added a Sky tool for viewing stars and astronomical images. [cite web
title =Explore the sky with Google Earth
accessdate =2007-08-22 ]
Google Skyis produced by Space Telescope Science Institutein Baltimore, the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope. Dr. Alberto Contiand his co-developer Dr. Carol Christianof the Space Telescope Science Institute plan to add the public images from 2007, [ [http://technology.newscientist.com/article/dn12523 Celestial add-on points Google Earth at the stars - tech - August 22, 2007 - New Scientist Tech ] ] as well as color images of all of the archived data from Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys. Newly released Hubblepictures will be added to the Google Sky program as soon as they are issued. New features such as multi-wavelength data, positions of major satellites and their orbits as well as educational resources will be provided to the Google Earth community and also through Christian and Conti's [http://hubblesite.org/explore_astronomy/gsky/ website for Sky] . Also visible on Sky mode are constellations, stars, galaxies and animations depicting the planets in their orbits. A real-time Google Sky mashup of recent astronomical transients, using the VOEventprotocol, is being provided by the [http://voeventnet.org/ VOEventNet] collaboration.Google's Earth maps are being updated each 5 minutes.
Google Sky will face competition [http://crave.cnet.com/8301-1_105-9881229-1.html] from the upcoming product
WorldWide Telescopefrom Microsoft, anticipated soon [ [http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/02/18/microsoft-to-announce-worldwide-telescope-on-january-27/ Microsoft To Announce WorldWide Telescope On February 27] , TechCrunch, Feb. 8, 2008] .
On March 13, 2008 Google made a web-based version of Google Sky available at http://www.google.com/sky/.
On April 15, 2008 with version 4.3, Google fully integrated its Street View into Google Earth.
Google Street View provides 360° panoramic street-level views and allows users to view parts of selected cities and their surrounding metropolitan areas at ground level. When it was launched on May 25, 2007 for
Google Maps, only five cities were included. It has since expanded to more than 40 U.S. cities, and includes the suburbs of many, and in some cases, other nearby cities. A recent update has now implemented Street View in most of the major cities of Australia.
Google Street View, when operated, displays photos that were previously taken by a camera mounted on an automobile, and can be navigated by using the mouse to click on photograph icons displayed on the screen in your direction of travel. Using these devices, the photos can be viewed in different sizes, from any direction, and from a variety of angles.
Wikipedia and Panoramio integration
In December 2006 Google Earth added a new layer called "Geographic Web" that includes integration with
Wikipediaand Panoramio. In Wikipedia, entries are scraped for coordinates via the srlink|Template:Coord|Coord templates. There is also a community-layer from the project Wikipedia-World. More coordinates are used, different types are in the display and different languages are supported than the built-in Wikipedia layer. See: * [http://tools.wikimedia.de/~kolossos/world-link.php?lang=en dynamic] resp. [http://www.webkuehn.de/hobbys/wikipedia/geokoordinaten/index.htm static] layer. Google announced on May 30, 2007 that it is acquiring Panoramio. [cite web|url=http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/annc/annc_panoramio.html|title=Google is planning to acquire Panoramio|publisher=google.com]
The Google Earth interface bears a noted similarity to the ‘Earth’ program described in
Neal Stephenson’s sci-ficlassic " Snow Crash". Indeed, a Google Earth co-founder claimed that Google Earth was modeled after "Snow Crash", [ [http://www.webuser.co.uk/news/227346.html Web User - Google Earth interview] ] while another co-founder said it was inspired by " Powers of Ten". [http://www.brownianemotion.org/2006/07/24/notes-on-the-origin-of-google-earth/ Avi Bar-Ze’ev (from Keyhole, the precursor to Google Earth) on origin of Google Earth] ] In fact Google Earth was at least partly inspired by a Silicon Graphicsdemo called "From Space to in Your Face" which zoomed from space into the Swiss Alpsthen into the Matterhorn[ [http://bnhsu.wordpress.com/2007/04/30/google-earth-from-space-to-your-face%E2%80%A6and-beyond/ Google Earth: From Space to Your Face…and Beyond] ] . This launch demo was hosted by a Onyx 3000 with InfiniteReality4 [ [http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/ir_techreport.html Infinite Reality Technical Report ] ] graphics, which supported Clip Mappingand was inspired by the hardware texture paging capability (although it did not use the Clip Mapping) and "Powers of Ten". The first Google Earth implementation called Earth Viewer emerged from Intrinsic Graphicsas a demonstration of Chris Tanner's software based implementation of a Clip Mappingtexture paging system and was spun off as Keyhole Inc. Earth Viewer was the inevitable ultimate realization of the capabilities of a seamless texture paging system and many of the individuals working on Earth Viewer were Silicon Graphics alumni.
* Coordinate System and Projection
** The internal coordinate system of Google Earth is geographic coordinates (latitude/longitude) on the World Geodetic System of 1984 (WGS84) datum.
** Google Earth shows the earth as it looks from an elevated platform such as an airplane or orbiting satellite. The projection used to achieve this effect is called the General Perspective. This is similar to the Orthographic projection, except that the point of perspective is a finite (near earth) distance rather than an infinite (deep space) distance. [ [http://www1.webng.com/azimuthal/earth_proj.html GE Projection ] ]
* Baseline resolutions
** U.S.: 15 m (some states are completely in 1 m or better)
** Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Denmark, England, Andorra, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Vatican City: 1 m or better
** Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary: 2.5 m (medium resolution)
** Global: Generally 15 m (some areas, such as
Antarctica, are in extremely low resolution), but this depends on the quality of the satellite/aerial photograph uploaded.
* Typical high resolutions
** U.S.: 1 m, 0.6 m, 0.3 m, 0.15 m (extremely rare; e.g. Cambridge and Google Campus, or Glendale)
** Europe: 0.3 m, 0.15 m (e.g.
Berlin, Zürich, Hamburg), 0.1 m Prague
* Altitude resolution:
** Surface: varies by country
** Seabed: Not applicable (a colorscale approximating sea floor depth is "printed" on the spherical surface).
* Age: Images dates vary. The image data can be seen from squares made when DigitalGlobe Coverage is enabled. The date next to the copyright information is not the correct image date. Zooming in or out could change the date of the pictures. Most of the international urban image dates are from 2004 and have not been updated. However, most US images are kept current. Google announces imagery updates on their LatLong Blog [ [http://earth.google.com/sky/skyedu.html Google Earth ] ] in form of a quiz, with hints of the updated locations. The answers are posted some days later in the same blog.
Google Earth is unlikely to operate on older hardware configurations. The [http://earth.google.com/download-earth.html most recent downloads available] document these minimum configurations:
Pentium 3, 500 MHz
* 128 MB RAM
* 12.7 MB free disk space (400 MB for Linux)
* Network speed: 128 kbit/s
* 16MB 3D-capable graphics card
* Resolution of 1024x768, 16-bit High Color
* Windows XP or Windows 2000, Windows Vista(not Windows Me compatible), Linux and Mac OS X
The most likely mode of failure is insufficient video RAM: the software is designed to warn the user if their graphics card is not able to support Earth (this often occurs due to insufficient
Video RAMor buggy graphics card drivers). The next most likely mode of failure is Internet access speed. Except for the very patient, broadband Internet(Cable, DSL, T1, etc.) is required.
A version for
Mac OS Xwas released on January 10, 2006, and is available for download from the Google Earth website. With a few exceptions noted below, the Mac version appears to be stable and complete, with virtually all the same functionality as the original Windows version.
Screenshots and an actual binary of the Mac version had been leaked to the Internet on December 8, 2005. The leaked version was significantly incomplete. Among other things, neither the Help menu nor its "Display License" feature worked, indicating that this version was intended for Google's internal use only. Google released no statement regarding the leak.
Currently, the Mac version runs only under Mac OS X version 10.4 or later. There is no embedded browser and no direct interface to
Gmail. There are a few bugs concerning the menu bar when switching between applications and a few bugs concerning annotation balloons and printing.
From version 4.1.7076.4558 (released on May 9, 2007) onward, Mac OS X users can now, among other new features, upgrade to the "Plus" version via an option in the Google Earth menu. [cite web|url=http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/20124|title=Google Earth 126.96.36.1994 - MacUpdate] Some users reported difficulties with Google Earth crashing in the latest version when zooming in. [cite web|url=http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/postlist.php/Cat/0/Board/SupportGEMac|title=Google Earth Community: Viewing forum: Google Earth for Mac OS X]
Starting with the version 4 beta, Google Earth functions under
Linux, as a native port using the Qt-toolkit. It is proprietary softwarespecifically in order to impose Digital Rights Management, and the Free Software Foundationconsider one of the High Priority Free Software Projectsto develop a free compatible client for Google Earth.
;Minimum System Requirements [ [http://earth.google.com/download-earth.html Google Earth ] ] :
* Kernel: 2.4 or later
* CPU: Pentium III, 500 MHz
* System Memory (RAM): 128 MB
* Hard Disk: 400 MB free space
* Network Speed: 128 kbit/s
* Screen: 1024x768, 16 bit color
* Tested and works on the following distributions:
Resolution and accuracy
Most land areas are covered in satellite imagery with a resolution of about 15 m per pixel. Some population centers are also covered by aircraft imagery (
orthophotography) with several pixels per meter. Oceans are covered at a much lower resolution, as are a number of islands; notably, the Isles of Scillyoff southwest England, are at a resolution of about 500 m or less. These pictures are provided by Terrametrics.
Google has resolved many inaccuracies in the vector mapping since the original public release of the software, without requiring an update to the program itself. An example of this was the absence from Google Earth's map boundaries of the
Nunavutterritory in Canada, a territory that had been created on April 1, 1999; this mistake was corrected by one of the data updates in early 2006. Recent updates have also increased the coverage of detailed aerial photography, particularly in certain areas of western and central Europe, though not including Ireland where imagery remains extremely limited.
The images are not all taken at the same time, but are generally current to within three years. Image sets are sometimes not correctly stitched together. Updates to the photographic database can occasionally be noticed when drastic changes take place in the appearance of the landscape, like for example Google Earth's incomplete updates of
New Orleansfollowing Hurricane Katrina, or when placemarks appear to shift unexpectedly across the Earth's surface. Though the placemarks have not in fact moved, the imagery is composed and stitched differently. Such an update to London's photography in early 2006 created shifts of 15-20 metres in many areas, noticeable because the resolution is so high.
Place name and road detail vary greatly from place to place. They are most accurate in North America and Europe, but regular mapping updates are improving coverage elsewhere.
Errors sometimes occur due to the technology used to measure the height of terrain; for example, tall buildings in
Adelaidecause one part of the city to be rendered as a small mountain, when it is in fact flat. The height of the Eiffel Towercreates a similar effect in the rendering of Paris. Also, elevations below sea level are presented as sea level; i.e. Salton City, California; Death Valley; and the Dead Seaare all listed as 0 m when Salton City is −38 m; Death Valley is −86 m; and the Dead Sea is −420 m.
Where no 3 arc second digital elevation data was available, the three dimensional images covering some areas of high relief are not at all accurate, but most mountain areas are now well mapped. The underlying digital elevation model has been placed 3 arc seconds too far north and up to 3 arc seconds too far west. This means that some steep mountain ridges incorrectly appear to have shadows extending over onto their south facing sides. Some high resolution images have also been misplaced, an example is the image covering
Annapurna, which is misplaced by about 12 arc seconds. Elevation data was recently updated to 10-meter (1/3-arc-second) resolution for much of the United States from the previous 30-meter (1-arc-second) resolution.
The "Measure" function shows that the length of
equatoris about 40,030.24 km, giving an error of −0.112% compared with the actual value of 40,075.02 km Earth; for the meridional circumference, it shows a length of about 39,963.13 km, also giving an error of −0.112% compared with the actual value of 40,007.86 km.
On December 16, 2007, most of Antarctica was updated to a 15 m resolution using imagery from the Landsat Image Mosaic of Australia; (1m resolution images of some parts of Antarctica were added in June 2007); however, the Arctic
polar ice capis completely absent from the current version of Google Earth, as are waves in the oceans. The geographic North Poleis found hovering over the Arctic Ocean and the tiling system produces artifacts near the poles as the tiles become 'infinitely' small and rounding errors accumulate.
Cloud cover and shadows can make it difficult or impossible to see details in some land areas, including the shadow side of mountains.
National security and privacy issues
The software has been criticized by a number of special interest groups, including national officials, as being an invasion of privacy and even posing a threat to national security. The typical argument is that the software provides information about military or other critical installations that could be used by
terrorists. The following is a selection of such concerns:
* Former Indian president
APJ Abdul Kalamhas expressed concern over the availability of high-resolution pictures of sensitive locations in India.cite web |url=http://www.techtree.com/techtree/jsp/article.jsp?article_id=68712&cat_id=582| title="Kalam Concerned Over Google Earth" | accessdate=2007-01-25] Google subsequently agreed to censor such sites. [cite web|url=http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Google_Earth_agrees_to_blur_pix_of_key_Indian_sites/articleshow/1559236.cms|title="Google Earth agrees to blur pix of key Indian sites"]
Indian Space Research Organisationhas said Google Earth poses a security threat to India, and seeks dialogue with Google officials.cite web |url=http://www.techshout.com/internet/2006/10/google-earth-poses-security-threat-to-india-isro-chief-seeks-dialogue/| title="Google Earth Poses Security Threat to India, ISRO Chief seeks Dialogue" | accessdate=2007-01-25]
* The South Korean government has expressed concern that the software offers images of the presidential palace and various military installations that could possibly be used by their hostile neighbor
North Korea.cite web |url=http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/TEMP/ea_skorea_09_06.html| title="Google Earth images compromise secret installations in S. Korea" | accessdate=2007-01-25]
* In 2006, one user spotted a large topographical replica in a remote region of China. The model is a small-scale (1/500) version of the Karakoram Mountain Range, currently under the control of China but claimed by India. When later confirmed as a replica of this region, spectators began entertaining military implications.cite web |url=http://www.smh.com.au/news/web/chinese-xfile-excites-spotters/2006/07/20/1153166503699.html| title="Chinese X-file excites spotters" | accessdate=2007-01-25] cite web |url=http://www.indianexpress.com/story/9972.html| title="From sky, see how China builds model of Indian border 2400 km away" | accessdate=2007-01-25]
Morocco's main Internet provider Maroc Telecomhas been blocking Google Earth [ [http://motic.blogspot.com/2007/05/message-au-monde-message-to-world.html Message au monde - Message to the world] ] since August 2006 for undisclosed reasons.
* Operators of the
Lucas Heights nuclear reactorin Sydney, New South Walesasked Google to censor high resolution pictures of the facility.cite web |url=http://www.abc.net.au/news/indepth/featureitems/s1432602.htm| title="Google Earth prompts security fears" | accessdate=2007-01-25] However, they later withdrew the request.cite web |url=http://searchviews.com/archives/2005/08/aussie_nuclear.php| title=" Aussie Nuclear Reactor on Google Earth" | accessdate=2007-01-25]
* In July 2007, it was reported that a new Chinese navy Jin-class nuclear
ballistic missile submarinewas photographed at the Xiaopingdao Submarine Base south of Dalian. [cite web |url=http://www.fas.org/blog/ssp/2007/07/new_chinese_ballistic_missile.php| title="New Chinese Ballistic Missile Submarine Spotted" | accessdate=2007-07-10]
* In October 2007, "
The Guardian" reported that the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigadeswere using Google Earth to plan Qassam rocketattacks on Israel (See: List of Qassam rocket attacks.) [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/video/2007/oct/25/inside.gaza Inside Gaza: 'Resistance is our strategy'] ]
Some citizens may express concerns over aerial information depicting their properties and residences being disseminated freely. As relatively few jurisdictions actually guarantee the individual's
right to privacy, as opposed to the state's right to secrecy, this is an evolving, but minor, point.Perhaps aware of these critiques [http://spatiallaw.blogspot.com/2008/04/privacy-lawsuit-against-google-earth.html] , for a time, Google had Area 51(which is highly visible and easy to find) in Nevada as a default placemark when Google Earth is first installed.
As a result of pressure from the United States government, the residence of the Vice President at
Number One Observatory Circleis obscured through pixelizationin Google Earth and Google Maps. The usefulness of this downgrade is questionable, as high-resolution photos and aerial surveys of the property are readily available on the Internet elsewhere. [cite web|url=http://www.eyeball-series.org/veep-eyeball.htm|title=Eyeballing the US Vice Presidential Residence] Capitol Hillused to also be pixelized in this way but this was lifted.
Critics have expressed concern over the willingness of Google to cripple their dataset to cater to special interests, believing that intentionally obscuring any land goes against its stated goal of letting the user "point and zoom to any place on the planet that you want to explore".
[cite web|url=http://www.geospace.co.uk/files/Zook_Graham_2007_Geoforum.pdf|title="The Creative Reconstruction of the Internet: Google and the Privatization of Cyberspace and DigiPlace"]
Google Earth Community
The [http://bbs.keyhole.com/entrance.php?Cat=0 Google Earth Community] is an online forum [ [http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php/Cat/0 Google Earth Community: Viewing list of forums ] ] which is dedicated to producing placemarks of interesting or educational perspectives. It may be found on the Google Earth webpage or under the Help section on the program itself. After downloading a placemark, it will automatically run Google Earth (if not opened), and fly to the area specified by the person who placed it. Once there, you can add it to your "My Places" by right clicking on the icon and selecting "Save to My Places". Additionally, anyone can post a placemark for others to download; as long as you have an account.
Google Earth also features many layers as a source for information on businesses and points of interest, as well as showcasing the contents of many communities, such as
Wikipedia, Panoramioand YouTube. Google updates with new layers often, and layers such as Panoramio and Google Earth Community are updated daily.
2008 Olympics LayerA layer under 'Places' has been added to showcase info about the
2008 Beijing Olympics. Features include frequently updated upcoming events and 3D models of venues used for the event. Also included are new images of Beijing released specially for the games. [http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2008/08/google_launches_3d_2008_olympic_gam.html]
Panoramio: "Shows many of the pictures uploaded onto Panoramio's website"
Wikipedia: "Shows summaries of Wikipedia articles, usually of locations or events"
** Places: A general overview of many notable places around the globe. Some placemarks have been taken from Google Earth Community's featured posts and some wikipedia articles. [http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2008/08/august_geographic_web_layer_update.html]
** Preview: "Shows short summaries of some of the content in the layers. If a new layer has been added, the preview layer will be turned on as a default the next time it is run."
Roads: "Shows the road network for most countries."
3D Buildings: "Shows many 3D buildings in major cities, such as
New York Cityor Hong Kong."
* Photorealistic: "Shows many buildings in a realistic style."
* Gray: "Low-poly models of city buildings designed for computers that may not have the capability of showing the photorealistic models."
Google Street View: "Shows placemarks with 360 degree panoramicviews of many major intersections and roads in United States cities. Some agreements with countries other than the U.S. have been made to take the feature to an international extent. Countries include the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia."
Borders and Labels: "Contains borders for countries/
provincesand shows placemarks for cities, towns and villages."
Borders: "Marks borders of countries, provincesand counties."
* Populated Places: "Contains an extensive amount of labels for cities, towns and
* Alternate Place Names: "Many cities in non-English countries were labeled in their native
languageto avoid the need of extensive localization, so this layer shows them in English."
* Labels: "Labels for many physical features, such as
lakes, bays, rivers, etc."
Traffic: "Shows often updated traffic information."
Weather: "Gives a full
weather reportwith a doppler radarand cloud layer, as well as local weather reports."
Discovery Networks: "Shows geographical information from the Discovery Channel."
European Space Agency: "Shows many satellite imagestaken of Earth."
GigapanPhotos: "Images from Google's Gigapan project."
GigapxlPhotos: "Photographs taken using Gigapxl."
Google Book Search: "An application of the Google Book search in Google Earth."
Google Earth Community: "A showcase of all file entries in Google Earth Community."
Google News: "Shows news stories from many worldwide news sources."
NASA: "A showcase of many satellite images, overlays and features from NASA."
National GeographicMagazine: "Shows many features from the National Geographic Magazine."
New York Times: "A collection of news stories from the popular New York City newspaper."
* Rumsey Historical Maps: "Shows a collection of historic maps, dating back to the 1600s."
* Travel and
** 100% Pure New Zealand
** Japan Tourism
** South Africa Tourism
** Turn Here: City Video Guides
Walt Disney World Resort
* Trimble Outdoor Trips: "A collection of
hiking trailswith recordings."
* Webcams.travel: "A collection of
webcamsaround the world
YouTube: "A collection of popular videos on YouTube."
Global Awareness: "A collection of services spreading global awareness. The layer was provided by
Google Earth Outreach. See Outreach's article for layers contained in the section."
Points of Interest: "A collection of business listings provided by many local services."
* Gas Stations
* Grocery Stores
* Parks and
Skiing( Swiss Alpsonly)
** Mountain Rail
* Fire Stations
* Places of
** Other Places of Worship
Currently, every image created from Google Earth using satellite data provided by Google Earth is a
copyrighted map. Any derivative from Google Earth is made from copyrighted data which, under United States Copyright Law, may not be used except under the licenses Google provides. Google allows non-commercialpersonal use of the images (e.g. on a personal website or blog) as long as copyrights and attributions are preserved. [Google Earth Help Center: [http://earth.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=21422 Can I post images to the web?] ] By contrast, images created with NASA's globe software World Winduse the Blue Marble, Landsator USGS layer, each of which is a terrain layer in the public domain. Works created by an agency of the United States government are public domain at the moment of creation. This means that those images can be freely modified, redistributed and used for commercial purposes.
Google Earth Plug-in
Version 1.0 of the plug-in supports the following layers:
It also supports 'Sky Mode' and provides the same controls and information bar as the full application.
* [http://code.google.com/apis/earth/ Google Earth Plug-in]
* [http://code.google.com/apis/earth/documentation/API.html Google Earth API]
Google Earth Plus
Google Earth can be upgraded to a Plus edition for a $20 annual subscription fee. Google Earth Plus is an individual-oriented paid subscription upgrade to Google Earth and adds the following features:
GPSintegration: read tracks and waypoints from a GPS device. A variety of third party applications have been created which provide this functionality using the basic version of Google Earth by generating KML or KMZ files based on user-specified or user-recorded waypoints. However, Google Earth Plus provides direct support for the Magellan and Garminproduct lines, which together hold a large share of the GPS market. The Linux version of the Google Earth Plus application does not include any GPS functionality.
* Higher resolution printing.
* Customer support via email.
* Data importer: read address points from CSV files; limited to 100 points/addresses. A feature allowing path and polygon annotations, which can be exported to KML, was formerly only available to Plus users, but was made free in version 4.0.2416.
* Higher data download speeds
Google Earth Pro
For a $400 annual subscription fee, Google Earth Pro is a business-oriented upgrade to Google Earth that has more features than the Plus version. The Pro version includes add-on software such as:
* Movie making.
* GIS data importer.
* Advanced printing modules.These used to cost extra, in addition to the $400 fee, but have recently been included in the package. As of January 2008 Google Earth Pro is being updated to have over 400 extra features, the version's cost has been announced to be $1030 USD. [cite web|url=http://earth.google.com/product_comparison.html|title=Which version of Google Earth is right for you?]
Unlike the free version of Google Earth, the professional version does not work on Linux.
Since Google Earth v4.2, a flight simulator has been included as a hidden feature. Depending on the system, it can be accessed by pressing Control+Alt+A, Control+A, or Command+Option+A. After this feature has been activated at least once it appears under the tools menu. Since v4.3 the option is no longer hidden by default. Currently the
F-16 Fighting Falconand the Cirrus SR-22are the only aircraft that can be used, in addition to a few airports. [ [http://marco-za.blogspot.com/2007/08/google-earth-flight-simulator.html Marco's Blog: Google Earth Flight Simulator ] ]
* [http://earth.google.com/intl/en/userguide/v4/flightsim/index.html Google Earth Flight Simulator Controls]
It is also possible to control the simulator with a mouse or joystick, although not all models are currently supported.
The Google Earth flight simulator features the ability to fly to any supported locations of the world. The pilot can choose any location to start a flight or attempt to land a flight in the world.
* F-16 Fighting Falcon - A much higher speed and maximum altitude than the Cirrus SR-22, it has the ability to fly at speeds of almost 1,400 knots near ground level.
* SR-22 - Although slower and with a lower maximum altitude, the SR-22 is much easier to handle and much more preferred for beginners.
Google Earth Outreach
Microsoft Virtual Earth: Bird-eye, no GIS
* GIS (
NASA World Wind
Yinchuan- subject to an Internet phenomenon originating on Google Earth forum.
Google mapping services
List of Google services and tools
** Google Moon
** Google Mars
DigitalGlobe— the provider of high resolutionimagery to Google Earth
* GeoEye-1 (ORBVIEW-3's sucessor)
* HyperCam (Virtual Earth)
IKONOS(ORBVIEW-2 is sucessor)
ViewGL- updated aerial imagery for Google Earth
Official and related sites
* [http://earth.google.com/ Official Google Earth Website] - Download software from here
* [http://google-latlong.blogspot.com Google LatLong] - News and notes by the Google Earth and Maps team
Unofficial guides and tips
* [http://www.gearthblog.com/ Google Earth Blog] : Google Earth news and updates
* [http://googlesightseeing.com/ Google Sightseeing] - Guide to interesting and unusual sights
* [http://www.ogleearth.com/ Ogle Earth] - Google Earth news site charting innovative uses and political implications of Google Earth
Placemarks and overlays
* [http://www.gearthhacks.com/ Google Earth Hacks] - A huge collection of files for use with Google Earth
* [http://www.kcl.ac.uk/geodata King's College London's Collection of KML databases]
* [http://hubblesite.org/explore_astronomy/gsky/ STScI's community contributions to Sky website]
* [http://docs.codehaus.org/display/GEOSDOC/Google+Earth GeoServer] - Server to generate KML from Shapefiles, ArcSDE, Oracle, PostGIS, MySQL, GeoTiff, ArcGrid, with support for Network links, superoverlays, time and custom pop-ups.
* [http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/map?form=googleearth GPSVisualizer] - Will convert GPS data for use in Google Earth.
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